Manila, Philippines — The USAID-funded Philippine Environmental Governance Project (EcoGov) and the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of sharing knowledge, information, tools, best practices and resources in support of capacity development and the effective implementation of Executive Order (EO) 533 in the Philippines.
The MoU joins the two agencies together in focusing on collaborative and cooperative activities which support the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) approach to sustainable coastal and marine development. These include (a) preparing State of Coasts reporting systems in selected areas of the Philippines, (b) developing and promoting sustainable financing mechanisms in projects which contribute to the sustainable development of coastal and marine areas and resources through sharing information on sources of finance, access to finance and design of the projects by LGUs among others, and (c) promoting networking and sharing of knowledge with respect to scaling up of good practices in sustainable development of coastal and marine areas and resources between and amongst local government units in the Philippines as well as within the EAS region.Both agencies will engage in trainings or capacity building workshops particularly with respect to increasing management effectiveness of marine protected area networks, biophysical and risk assessments, water quality monitoring, and others. Information and knowledge sharing will also be implemented, such as conferences, seminars and workshops that aim to share knowledge and best practices in sustainable development of coastal and marine areas and resources. Articles of both parties will be contributed to each others' publications and websites linked.EO 533, signed by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006, formally adopts the ICM for the whole country, and is a commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), a platform which calls for concerted efforts toward integrated coastal and ocean management. The ICM approach involves the stakeholders and requires the analysis of environmental and socio-economic implications of development.Representatives of the EcoGov and the PEMSEA were present to sign the MoU in ceremonies last November 25, during the East Asian Seas Congress 2009 in Manila, Philippines.